U.S. men's national team

Despite uphill battle, U.S. leads qualifying fight

September 16, 2009
By Jeff Carlisle, ESPNsoccernet
As the U.S. men's national team rose to prominence within CONCACAF, its World Cup qualifying journeys took on a familiar pattern. The Americans would win at home, lose at Mexico and Costa Rica, then scrounge up a smattering of wins and draws elsewhere during their travels. That combination was enough to clinch a trip to the World Cup finals with a game or two (or three) to spare. Final-day white-knuckle qualifiers were for the region's lesser lights.

Not anymore.

Despite ...

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